1963-08-05 - Isolationist Nonsense
Summary: Crystal and Erik discuss her visit home.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
erik crystal 

Crystal left to go speak with her family, to get some perspective on recent events. Judging by her demeanor as she returns, the talk didn't go very well.

She slams the door closed behind herself as she storms into the bedroom, stalking across the floor to put her shoes away and ending up throwing them into the closet once they've fallen over twice instead of sitting neatly on the rack on the floor. "As if they've any right!"


Was there any question that Erik would wait up for her? Of course not. He's resting on the bed, shoes discarded, bare feet draped over the edge. Still wearing his slacks, he's at least changed into a fresh tank top after a shower, and is in the middle of reading a book when Crystal storms in.

Looking up, Erik arches his eyebrows and turns the book over, setting it next to a glass of brandy. "That… didn't go half as well as you'd have liked, did it?" he asks, dubiously.


"They threatened to come back here and collect me, as if I were some sort of unruly child!" Crystal replies indignantly, drawing the curtains with a twitch of her hand from across the room. "They refuse to even consider that any of you might be-" She lets out a huff of breath, pacing a few steps in one direction, then turning to the other to continue.

"Arrogant, isolationist nonsense. No wonder we've been in exile for so long. They're so concerned with their precious secrecy…" She starts to undress, taking at least a little more care with her dress than she did with her shoes. "We aren't going to be able to hide forever. The world is getting smaller every day."


"And good that it is," Erik points out. "The smaller our world becomes, the more difficult it is to hide injustice."

With a fluid motion, he swings his legs over the edge of the bed, then snatches up the glass of brandy and walks toward her. There is genuine concern in his voice. "What will happen when your people can no longer hide?"


"I don't know." Crystal shakes her head, some of the anger and frustration softening to concern. "Nothing good, I think. We're too old and too powerful to bow to the governments of the world, but I'm not sure we're big enough or powerful enough to stand against them, either."

She pulls her dress over her head, hanging it back in the closet before shrugging into her silk robe. "Our people would rather deal with Asgard or Muspelheim than Earth, I think," she grimaces. "Maximus certainly would." Turning to face him, she tucks her hair behind her ear, giving his brandy a wistful look. "I don't suppose you have another glass?"


"The governments of this world have nuclear warheads," Erik points out. "I suppose we should be grateful for Kennedy's presidency."

Reaching out, Erik places the glass into Crystal's hand. He wraps her hand around its stem with both of his, then smiles ruefully. "And an entire bottle."

Erik turns back to the bedside table, producing the bottle and another glass, to which he pours himself a drink. Then, he turns around to Crystal, raising his eyebrows. "Tell me about this Asgard. About Muspelheim. Tell me everything."


"Black Bolt has more power in a whisper than your nuclear warheads, Erik," Crystal shakes her head, taking a sip from the glass. "And there would be no nuclear fallout making the land unlivable afterwards. Political fallout, on the other hand…" Raising the glass, she moves toward the bed to settle on the edge of it.

"I think, perhaps, I should start with us." Another drink, bracing, and she slides back to lean against the pillows, patting the bed next to herself. "I told you we call ourselves Inhumans. I didn't tell you where we come from. Thousands of years ago, the Kree - an alien race - found this planet. There were some humans here, but they were…Well. Primitive. And so the Kree experimented on them, designing warriors to fight on their behalf."


"Primates." Erik chooses his seat next to her, and settles the glass down on the end tableso that he might free his hands. "Experimented on by… extra terrestrials." He shakes his head. "If I didn't know you, Crystal, I might begin to think you've cracked."

Its a small joke, one he answers by reaching down to massage her feet. "These Kree. I imagine they were a warrior species? Cunning, crafty, not wishing to risk themselves in their conquests… these warriors are your ancestry?"


"Well, not quite primates. Neanderthals, or early homo sapiens, at most." Crystal takes another drink with the faintest of smiles. "I read Charles' thesis. It's interesting. But our people have been cultivating evolution for millennia. Anyhow." She sighs gratefully as he rubs her feet, watching him.

"Their experiments were fairly successful. Even an Inhuman who hasn't undergone Terrigenesis is physically stronger, faster, all the rest, than the peak of human performance. One in reasonable shape can lift up to a ton." No wonder she had no problem lifting the increased density of his metal sphere.

"Something happened, though, and the Kree were forced to abandon their experiments and the planet. In their absence, we thrived. It was the great geneticist Randac who first discovered the Terrigen crystals developed the process of Terrigenesis. Through it, we are changed, granted powers. But not all are as pleasant as mine."


Erik grins knowingly. He hadn'tbeen rude and asked about that trick with his sphere - the thing which has now more permanently become his armor and helmet - but he had wondered.

"And these Terrigen crystals are naturally forming?" he asks. "Or were they created by the geneticist, Randac?"


"They are rare, but naturally occurring," Crystal nods to the question. "The crystals can be turned to a mist, and when we are exposed to it, it triggers something in our genetic makeup. Some latent trait or ability. At first, Randac offered it to all. Then we discovered that it didn't treat everyone…fairly."

She looks toward the window, brows furrowing slightly. "Some, like me, are lucky. I have great powers which I understand, which I can control, and yet I still pass for human. Like you or Charles. Others…Others can be monstrous. My cousin Triton evolved for water. And Lockjaw? Lockjaw was not always a beast. When Randac discovered what could come of the mists, our society changed. Before being subjected to the mists, we must undergo rigorous genetic testing. We are ruled in no small part by a council of geneticists. They test us. Track us. Approve matches. Approve who may have children, even, in hopes of preventing the more…severe changes."


The tale seems to capture Erik. Such history, and even though she tells the tale well, he earns the distinct impression that she's only just scratched the surface.

The last however, draws a concern to his face. His brow knits, and the massage is paused. One hand remains rested upon her foot, while the other reaches for his glass of brandy. He studies it for a moment, expression drawn.

He hasn't yet forgotten of Asgard, or Muspelheim, but something Crystal said has him understandably worried. He looks to her, thinking of their own matching. "What… changes?" he asks.


"Like Lockjaw," Crystal says with an almost guilty look to the window. "He used to be a man, Erik. But after the mists…I don't know what I think about it, in all honestly. It isn't as though he's unhappy. I think. We treat him well, we care for him, he cares for us. But he isn't what he would have hoped for when he went into the mists."

She takes a long swallow of brandy, setting the glass down on the nightstand after, empty. "Even with the best of intentions, though, no matter how well we test, things happen. Black Bolt's parents, the king and queen, were geneticists. They tested everything. Black Bolt was exposed in utero. But when he was born, his first cries shook the city to its foundations. He was raised in a soundproof room, having to learn to control even the most involuntary of sounds for fear of its destructive power."


There is still worry upon Erik's face. While her words are heard, even noted, they seem to pass into a distant part of his mind. An idea has formed… a child, tortured, mutant and inhuman, a completely irrational thought, but how dare he ask if human (or mutant) and Inhuman have ever mated before? If she were not following the same train of thought as he, it would be unfair to raise her concern.

Or would it? Their lovemaking was a mutual decision as anything, after all.

From his own brandy, Erik takes another drink. There is still a bit left in his glass, but he sets it down for the moment, and resumes the massaging, only now working up to the lady's calves.

"Your people have been through trials that mutants have only just begun to suffer," he tells her. "We could learn so much from you. It is a shame that there is… no trust." For his part, he would see to building that trust, but… not now. Not today.

"Tell me of the others?" he asks, considering Muspelheim, Asgard.


Crystal has had the thoughts. She's just come back from the argument with her family about it. But she isn't ready to bring it up. Not yet. "The Kree are not the only race outside our world. When they created us, they were at war wit the Skrulls. And then there are the other realms entirely."

She tucks one arm behind her head, watching him quietly. "The Kree made the Inhumans. The Asgardians left legends of Norse gods. Muspelheim, I am less familiar with. Though their realm seems to be one of hellish flames, which matches their powers."


"Hellish flames." Erik repeats her words with a sense of wonder. He shakes his head and releases one hand in order to finish his brandy, then resumes with his massage. "How do these realms exist? How do these people travel between them?" He shakes his head. "We've only put a man into outer space two years ago. We don't - humans - have the technology to travel to these places. Assuming they exist in our own continuum of space time…" He looks Crystal's way, pausing in his massage long enough to gauge her with a long, amazed expression.

"Do your parents know?" he asks, quietly.


"I assume you don't mean do they know how people travel between realms," Crystal replies in an equally quiet tone, smile faint. "Some have spaceships. Some use different means of travel. Lockjaw has been known to move between dimensions, not always intentionally."

She doesn't let herself ramble for more than a moment, though, looking back up at him. "They…know that I've been settling here. That I'm…fond of the people here." Sitting forward, she reaches for his hand to draw him closer. "It's important that you know that I don't care, Erik. About what they think, I mean," she adds quickly. "About that. Because…because I do care about you."


With a quick laugh, Erik chides himself for changing gears without warning. "Of course," he answers, but quickly sobers.

What she tells him is meaningful. He's not insulted by the fact that they do not know about him, nor is his ego bruised; he lost his parents at a very young age, so he does not possess an intrinsic understanding of that dynamic. His mother will always be the woman who was murdered before his very eyes; his father, a distant memory.

What does bother him is that she feels forced to hide him from them. He does allow her to draw him in, and he shifts so that he's lying down on his side, grasping her hand and looking fondly into her eyes.

Then comes a smile. "I know," he tells her. "I do care about you, as well."

And he would do anything for her, much as he would for his fellow mutants. An admirable trait… but one that could easily be tarnished by any number of unfortunate choices.


Crystal leans down to brush a kiss against his lips, grip tightening on his hand. "I know they suspect," she admits, pressing her brow against his. "I know that's part of why they disapprove of me being here, of having my life here. It's like…the way those idiots in the south would view a white woman with a black man. But they don't understand."

Her free hand brushes against his cheek, fingertips playing at his temple. "They know nothing of mutants. Of what you can do. How can they say that a combining of the races would be detrimental? No one's ever tried to find out."


At that last part there, Erik smiles. "Well… I suppose that may make us pioneers."

He reaches over then, pouring fresh glasses of brandy. One is offered to Crystal, the other kept back for himself. A silent toast is offered, a single drink taken, then he wraps his arms around her and pulls her close.

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